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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 26, 2007

Cech heaps praise on 'iron man' Terry

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech insists captain John Terry should be named 'Iron Man of the Year' after he shook off the effects of a shocking head injury to help his team-mates celebrate their second Carling Cup win in three years.

Cech, who spent three months out of action after fracturing his skull in a collision with Stephen Hunt against Reading last October, still has to wear protective head gear.

But the Czech international was forced to revisit his own nightmare when Terry was left unconscious by a kick in the head from Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby in the second half of their 2-1 victory over the Gunners yesterday.

Chelsea's medical staff along with Arsenal and England physio Gary Lewin spent five minutes helping Terry to come round and clearing his airways after the injury was sustained.

The England captain had only just recovered from ankle ligament damage, suffered in their midweek Champions League game against Porto, to make Jose Mourinho's Cardiff line-up.

But after checking out of hospital, Terry returned to help his team-mates celebrate their success and Cech says their skipper should now be given his own title.

An emotional Cech said: 'I didn't feel really well for the five minutes until he was on the stretcher because it reminded me of my injury and with head injuries you never know.

'But fortunately the physios were on quickly and now he is all right. It was not nice.

'I tried to switch off but as a goalkeeper you need to keep concentration. I was walking around trying to think about my game and not think about what was going on up the other end.

'I felt a lot of emotions because if it had been the same case as mine, then you have seen how difficult it is to come back from it and what you have to do.

'That's why I felt a lot of emotions but he was conscious when he was about to enter the tunnel and when you see him moving you feel better.

'These things can happen on the pitch and you don't want to see it. It is difficult to carry on but I liked the way everyone continued after that. It was a great cup-tie.

'I told John afterwards that if there is some trophy for `Iron Man of the Year', I think it is him.

'After the injury in Porto, he came back and played. Now he is fine, he was laughing and okay. He is unbelievable.'

Terry is understood to have blacked out, swallowed his tongue and stopped breathing and the players, realising the situation was serious, immediately called for medical assistance from the bench.

Arsenal and England physio Lewin was quickly on the scene to help and his efforts were rewarded with an emotional hug from Terry as he left the stadium.

Cech, who has fought back against all the odds this season after brain surgery back in October, was particularly pleased with his own performance.

The Czech international made some crucial saves to keep Chelsea in the game and after all that has happened to him this season, there was no disguising his delight at getting another winner's medal.

Cech added: 'I was very pleased with my performance. I think there was a lot of crosses to deal and two chances to deal with.

'I enjoyed the game because it was one I was looking forward to for a long time. After my injury it is the first final and it is always great to be involved.

'We have got another three trophies to play for and try our best to go to another final. Quadruple would be a great achievement but we want to keep playing as long as we can in each competition.'

Terry said today: 'I just said to the lads I didn't remember. I remember walking out for the second half and nothing else until waking up in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

'I had the scan and they said it's okay. It was great to be back [with the lads], they were different class. I'm still feeling a bit groggy though.

'It's thanks to the lads as I didn't have much part to play in the second half. Throughout the competition they've been spot on.'